BOE approves cameras

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 21, 2003

Recently the Andalusia City School System received a pair of grants to be used for the purchase and installation of surveillance cameras for school buses in the system.

One of the grants was made possible by Speaker of the House Seth Hammett and Sen. Jimmy Holley and the other funding came from Drug Free School money.

On Monday during the regular meeting of the Andalusia City Board of Education, the board approved a low bid of $5,760.00 from Seon Design for eight cameras and the installation costs as well.

School System Transportation Coordinator Ted Watson was present at the meeting to discuss the bids and to answer questions about the surveillance cameras, which have been a mainstay on buses in the Covington County School System for several years.

Superintendent Pete Kelley said the cameras are a recommended safety measure and is part of the school system's overall safety plan.

Watson said all of the cameras will be feeding into a video cassette recorder (VCR) and said the camera system the system will be purchasing is the most economically feasible one.

He added that the cameras will also be compatible with more updated equipment should VCRs become outdated.

Watson said the cameras will be permanently mounted on the buses and said when the buses are cranked the camera turns on, and said the camera stays on for about 45 seconds after the bus is shut down.

He said the cameras would be useful not only for daily routes but also for special activities such as field trips.

When asked if the respective video tapes would be erased at the end of the day or saved, Watson said the tapes have a nine-hour recording capacity and can be recycled.

Board member Dr. Bill King asked what would happen if the system received a complaint maybe six days after an incident allegedly occurred, and there was no documented footage of the incident, Watson replied that perhaps two or three tapes could be carried on each bus to ensure a good length of documentation.

Watson said there were only four responses returned for the camera proposal, and one of those responses did not include an actual bid.

In other business discussed at Monday's meeting, the Andalusia City Board of Education:

* Approved personnel matters which included seven resignations, with at least four for the purpose of retirement. These resignations include Janine Bryant, Kathy Enzor, Valarie M. Leonard, Kim Patrick, Nancy Schlehmeier and Gwen Weaver from Andalusia Elementary School and Jackie McDanal from Andalusia Middle School.

* Approved holding summer school at Andalusia Elementary School, Andalusia High School and Andalusia Middle School.

* Approved a four-day, ten-hour work week for twelve-month personnel.

* Approved adopting a resolution for a Qualified Zone Academy bond.

* Approved accepting a low bid for Child Nutrition Program equipment. This equipment will be for Andalusia High School.

* Heard an update on construction projects from Kelley.

* Approved the minutes of the April 26 regular meeting.

* Retired to an executive session to discuss the good name and character of an individual.

* Set the date of the next meeting for May 12 at 6 p.m.